Rebooting my blog with a salute to some very talented musicians
Well, it’s been quite some time since I wrote anything. So I figured that I should kick-start my blog again. And what better way to restart it than by talking about music?!
One of my all-time favourite bands split up. I’m of course talking about R.E.M. Michael Stipe, Mike Mills and Peter Buck (and Bill Berry until the mid 90’s) have been on my radar ever since Losing My Religion was broadcast on a pre-Grammy nomination show in 1992 on a local Indian TV channel. I know that the Grammys are lame nowadays but the truth is, that is how I found out about them.
After getting into their two early nineties’ masterpieces, Out Of Time and Automatic For The People, 1994’s Monster sealed my love for this band… which I realize sounds funny as heck considering that those albums, particularly Monster, were complete departures from their signature college rock/indie sound of the 80’s. But it doesn’t matter because I went back and discovered all of their older work as well. While I am not quite as bonkers about their 80’s work when compared to the 90’s (except for Lifes Rich Pageant and Document), I do love and enjoy listening to a significant chunk of their songs even from the first decade.
Though a part of me feels sad that there won’t be another R.E.M. album, it is not surprising that they decided to call it a day. They have experimented with a hugely varied palette of sounds over the years, despite maybe not coming close to the variety of say U2 or The Beatles. So I suppose they have nothing new to say anymore. It could also just be a decision to end on a high note with the cheerful and optimistic-sounding Collapse Into Now. I still have not listened to Around The Sun except for a few songs. And the one before that, 2001’s Reveal was generally pretty boring. But overall, what a great discography! They really don’t make bands like these anymore. They will be sorely missed!
I’ll end with a list of my favourite R.E.M. songs:
- The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
- Everybody Hurts
- Man On The Moon
- Find The River
- Welcome To The Occupation
- Disturbance At The Heron House
- King Of Birds
- Driver 8
- The Great Beyond
- Begin The Begin
- I Believe
- Swan Swan H
- What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?
- Bang And Blame
- Losing My Religion
- Half A World Away
- Walk Unafraid